2 Kurdish farmers detained by soldiers pushed out of helicopter, witnesses claim

Helicopter

Two farmers who were detained by soldiers while working on their farm were pushed out of a helicopter on September 11, in the southeastern city of Van, witnesses claimed.

According to reports in Turkish media, their families could not find the farmers for two days. They were later located in the intensive care unit of Van Regional Teaching and Research Hospital. The farmers were identified as Servet Turgut (55) and Osman Şiban (50).

In a series of tweets pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Murat Sarısaç said Turgut and Şiban were manhandled and forced into the helicopter, citing witnesses. According to Sarısaç, both victims were unconscious when they were brought to the hospital. Turgut is currently intubated and is in critical condition. A note in his health report says, “Unknown patient hospitalized due to falling from a height.”

The Mesopotamia News Agency reported, based on a health report, that both of Şiban’s eyes were bruised, that swelling was observed on his head, neck and face caused by trauma and that he had spit up blood. Şiban’s condition is said to be serious but improving, and he is conscious.

HDP deputy Sarısaç said even if the farmers had not been pushed out of a helicopter, it is still clear that they were tortured to such an extent that they lost consciousness and were later brought to the hospital.

In a parliamentary question to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Sarısaç said the policy of impunity that protected security forces involved in wrongdoing had led to this and similar incidents. He asked if any investigations had been launched into the incident and what precautions were being taken to prevent similar incidents from taking place in the future.

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) had confirmed in two reports published on August 5 the continued existence of ill-treatment, torture, informal questioning and restricted access to a lawyer as well as a fundamentally flawed medical screening system in Turkish detention facilities.

Ill-treatment and torture are resorted to with a view to extracting a confession or obtaining information or as a punishment, the CPT had found.

The CPT, a body combatting torture and other ill-treatment through periodic or unannounced visits to places of detention of member states, made its reports along with the responses of the Turkish authorities public with the permission of the Turkish government.

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